This video depicts the plight of the ordinary Indian, when their government and courts abandon them. The video is made on the tenth day where the evictees of the Omkareshwar Dam, one of the 30 large dams constructed in the controversial Narmada Valley Project, have decided to protest by staying in neck-deep water, after the Madhya Pradesh state government in India decided to increase the water level to 196.60 meters, though many villagers who lost their land and livelihood are yet to be identified and adequately compensated by the government. This is from the 10th day of the protest in water.
The ongoing protest by village communities acting against the increase of water level in the Omkareshwar Dam is unique in several aspects. The protest, which has completed 11 days today, is directed against the Madhya Pradesh state government that has failed to adequately rehabilitate those who have lost their land and livelihood to this ‘development’ project. The protest is being held in the East Nimaar region, i.e. in Khandwa district of the Madhya Pradesh state. The villagers have been standing chin-deep in water, within the dam’s catchment area, claiming willingness to drown if the government continues to deny them their right to adequate rehabilitation for land and livelihood lost to the project. The protest is organised by the Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), which has been fighting for the rights of the numerous communities – such as tribal communities, fisher-folk, farmers, and agricultural labour – that are being denied land and livelihood by the Narmada valley projects.